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Maltese havens need to be conserved

Ramblers crossing Ramla l-Ħamra.

Ramblers crossing Ramla l-Ħamra.

With the spring days becoming more glorious and nature letting off its last display of hues and sweet scents, the outdoors become especially inviting for the splendour of magnificent landscapes and far-flung seascapes.

The Ramblers’ programme for May invites walkers to the north of Malta, to Comino and to Gozo –  havens of countryside and coastline from where stretched panoramas virtually turn to photographic murals in the mind.  It is said that on a clear day you can see forever. Ramblers believe that no other free pastime offers better mental and physical relaxation as the alluring distraction of ever-changing natural vistas.

Ramblers listening to a guide giving information regarding Selmun Palace.Ramblers listening to a guide giving information regarding Selmun Palace.

Understanding that such natural delights need protection, ramblers lament the inability of the competent authorities, of which now there are two, to provide basic safeguards. Ramblers dutifully report the shameless irregularities they encounter to the authorities, who duly acknowledge but take no action. As a result, illegalities carry on, out of control, with increasing intensity, regardless.

Ramblers see a slow but steady national disaster occurring before their very eyes, and appeal to the authorities to stop the rot before it is too late. These authorities seem more absorbed with rhetorical analyses than with fulfilling their duty of pragmatic conduct to defend the natural heritage, and undertake direct action against intrusions of every kind and size that eat away at the very essence of the rustic features that give Malta its distinctive character and natural harmony.

Everyone is invited to attend to the walk of his liking without any obligation. For more information e-mail the Ramblers’ Association  on ram205@gmail.com or call 9949 7080.

On a clear day you can see forever.On a clear day you can see forever.

Programme of walks in May

Sunday, May 7: Mellieħa – Mistra Valley and Bay – Selmun Bay (Coastal and country/scenic)

From Mellieħa Park and Drive we head down to Mistra Valley past an ancient apiary, and then onto Mistra Bay. We walk up past Mistra Battery, then we cut across to Fort Campbell down through the countryside to Mġiebaħ (Selmun Bay). After a much-needed rest at Selmun Bay we head along the coast up to il-Kortin and back to our starting point.

Duration: Approximately three hours.

Rating: Moderate to hard due to rough terrain and steep inclines.

Meeting place: Mellieħa Park and Drive (Valyou shopping centre).

Time: 9am.

Sunday, May 14: A coastal walk around Comino.

An interesting and scenic tour of the smallest of the Maltese islands, visiting its historical sites and geological features. There is no shade, so come prepared. Bring a packed lunch and swim wear (optional).

A fee of €10 is charged for the ferry boat ride to and from Comino, payable on the spot to committee members so that all ramblers leave together. Please be on time at 8.30am to buy your ticket/s.

Duration: Five hours. Ferry returns at about 2pm. (option to catch later ferry)

Rating: Moderate with rough ground.

Meeting place: Ċirkewwa near Comino ferry boats.

Time: 8.30am to leave at 8.45am.

Sunday, May 21: Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq – Pembroke – Madliena (Scenic/cultural)

An interesting walk through the former British garrison of Pembroke, visiting some very interesting sites and buildings, before heading for the Madliena Heights and then back down to Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq.

Duration: About three hours.

Rating: Moderate but with sections of rough terrain and some inclines.

Meeting place: Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq by the ice cream kiosk.

Time: 9am.

Sunday, May 28: Gozo

From Mġarr, Gozo, we will take the scenic route to Qala belveder, passing by il-Mitħna, which will lead us down to the valley and bay of Daħlet Qorrot. Crossing this valley past many citrus trees will take us to the outskirts of Nadur and back to the ferry. We will pass several troglodyte caves on our way, and those who are more adventurous may explore them at will.

Duration: From three to four hours (walking).

Rating: Moderate but with sections of rough terrain.

Meeting place: Take the 8.15am ferry from Ċirkewwa.

Time: The walk will start from Mġarr Harbour at 8.45am.

Wednesday, May 31: Mosta, Rabat (Chadwick Lakes and Dwejra Lines), Mosta (Scenic/historical)

This very interesting circular walk leads us through parts of the valley of the Chadwick Lakes (Wied Qlejja), uphill to the Dwejra Lines and downhill back to the starting point. The walk features rural landscape with deep valleys, fertile farmland and good views.

Duration: Approximately two to three hours.

Rating: Easy to moderate with some inclines.

Meeting place: Mosta parish church.

Time: 4pm. (Please note the change in the starting time.)

Alex Vella is executive president of the Ramblers’ Association of Malta.

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